Theology of Karl Barth
Instructor: Professor Andrea White
Karl Barth (1886-1968) is often identified as one of the preeminent theologians of the twentieth century, though his notoriety subjects him to caricature and frequent misreadings. This course will introduce students to the theology of Karl Barth primarily through the lens of his doctrine of God and his theological anthropology. A close reading of his Epistle to the Romans and two volumes in his Church Dogmatics, Volumes II/1 and III/2, will challenge interpretations of Barth that classify him as “neoorthodox” and deem his thought as therefore irrelevant to concerns of contemporary theology. Among the many unfavorable accounts is the critique that Barth overemphasizes the sovereignty of God at the expense of human freedom. It is often presumed that his theology may be reduced to a Christology with little else to say on other Christian doctrines apart from his Christology. The course aims to determine and then examine what precisely Barth does say about God and what he says about the human person. The course aims to present Barth as a viable and significant conversation partner in contemporary theology and to defend his continued influence upon and relevance to Christian thought.
African Religions in the Americas
Instructor: Professor Samuel Cruz
A critical analysis of the socio-historical settings of the development of each of the most widely practiced African based spiritual traditions/movements in the Americas. We will dialogue with practitioners, films, and site visits within the NYC metropolitan area. We will engage the African-based practices of Haitian Vodou, Santeria/Palo Monte, Rastafarianism, Espiritismo, Obeah, Candomble, Umbanda, as well as African religious influences in Protestant Christianity. We will explore ways in which these religious movements have been impacted by North and South American cultural and political conditions, and how they have impacted the cultural and political realities in turn. The transformations made by these religious practices in the diasporic communities in the United States will be an underlying focus of this course.
This course studies the presuppositions, sources, and method for a systematic Christology that is faithful to tradition, responds to the contemporary culture, and empowers a Christian life.
Instructor: Dr Jan Rehmann
This course is designed for students who are preparing for the language exam in German. Starting with the basic elements of grammar and vocabulary, the course requires no prior knowledge of German, but does require intensive commitment. Students are introduced to the main problems of reading German. Corresponding to the requirements of the exam, the training focuses on the understanding and translation of scholarly theological texts; i.e. exegesis, church history, Christian ethics and philosophy.